A new veterinary clinic opening in Chattanooga will offer both traditional and holistic medicine for pets.
Dr. Colleen Smith, formerly a vet at the Animal Hospital at Signal Mountain, said she decided to open the Chattanooga Holistic Animal Institute, a holistic veterinary practice, after many of her clients encouraged her to do so.
Holistic medicine is based on the philosophy that the whole animal is treated and that treatment is individually based on symptoms and clinical signs, Smith said. Owners are also often much more involved in the treatment process with the animal and are therefore more aware of the progression of health.
“Holistic medicine works on the principle of whole body medicine,” she said. “So, when an animal has an allergy, heart disease, arthritis or other chronic diseases, I can treat the disease by changing the diet, offer supplements, and use acupuncture and chiropractic [methods] to decrease pain, inflammation and improve the immune system.”
Smith attended veterinary school at Ross University and has training in nutrition therapy. She is also a certified veterinary acupuncturist and chiropractitioner.
Although Smith initially practiced in conventional veterinary clinics, she said holistic medicine is always something that has interested her.
“I had been to a seminar before going to vet school that introduced Chinese veterinary medicine and was impressed with the effectiveness of the medicine and decided to learn alternative therapies after vet school,” she said. “. The more I used the alternative therapies like acupuncture, chiropractic and nutrition therapy, the more I wanted to offer it to more patients.”
Smith said she uses a combination of both conventional medicines and treatments in addition to the holistic practices to offer the best solutions for the animal and its owner.
“I use blood work, surgery, X-rays and medicine as needed for any case,” she said. “I also use homeopathy, Eastern and Western herbals, laser therapy, massage therapy and soon will be offering physical therapy.”
Smith’s veterinary practice opens April 30 and is located at 918 E. Main St.
The office is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, except for Wednesdays.